LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Law firms, colleges, churches, craft brewers – even the private real estate company owned by multi-millionaire John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John's International.
They’re among more than 18,000 Kentucky- and Indiana-based businesses, nonprofits and other entities approved for forgivable loans of at least $150,000 under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
Part of the CARES Act coronavirus relief package, the program has doled out more than $500 billion in loans meant to keep small businesses from laying off employees during the pandemic.
The U.S. Small Business Administration on Monday released data listing employers approved by banks for larger loans under the program – from $150,000 to the maximum $10 million. The agency did not disclose the actual amount of the loans, instead listing them in ranges.
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While the SBA said loans that were "cancelled for any reason" do not appear in the data, one business listed in the public information told WDRB that it did not, in fact, follow through with the loan.
Attorney Tim Napier said his law firm, Napier Gault Schupbach & Stevens, was approved for a loan. But, after business conditions improved, the firm decided not to accept the money ($150,000 to $350,000, according to the database), he said.
"We didn't need the money, and we didn't want to take it from those who really did need it," Napier said.
Recipients of the loans generally don’t have to pay it back if they use the money to maintain payroll, though other expenses like rent and utilities can be paid.
In addition to local businesses like Heine Bros. Coffee, Highland Cleaners and Wick’s Pizza – all of which received at least $150,000 – the data show some of Louisville’s biggest law firms (Bingham Greenbaum Doll, Stites & Harbison, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, Middleton & Reutlinger) were approved for loans in the $2 million to $5 million range.
Businesses approved for the biggest loans -- $5 million to $10 million – include pharmaceutical company US WorldMeds, V-Soft Consulting, ISCO Industries, iKeyless (the company behind Louisville-based Car Keys Express), Kentuckiana Curb Co. and MCM CPAs and Advisors.
They also include religious organizations such as the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church USA and the Roman Catholic dioceses of Lexington and Covington, according to the data.
Among the smallest disclosed loan recipients -- $150,000 to $350,000 – are restaurants like El Mundo and Havana Rumba, nonprofits like Americana Community Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana and Schnatter’s real estate development company in Anchorage, Evergreen Real Estate.